Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Update: Does England Have a Mudville?

The U.S. and Britain tied at 1-1 in their showdown at the World Cup.

It was indeed a piteously shameful moment for the poor fellow, Robert Green. He let an easy one get by him:

Green, 29, winning only his 11th England cap after being preferred to the vastly more experienced David James, will be haunted for the rest of his career by the mistake when he failed to routinely stop a low, bouncing 25-metre shot from Clint Dempsey after 40 minutes.

He reacted in horror as the ball squirmed out of his grasp and bounced away from him as he tried to prevent it crossing the line, crouching in abject mortification as it rolled into the back of the net to cancel out Steven Gerrard’s fourth minute opener for England.

“It’s one of those freak things that happens -- plenty of people have been talking about the ball this week. It shocked us a bit, but we’ll get behind Robert,” said Gerrard.

Evidently, this ball being used for the Whirled Cup games has a reputation for being a bit wonky.
- - - - - - - - -
Players have been complaining. (Sounds similar to our problems with bizarre voting machines, but that’s another story)

However bizarre, the goal was one the U.S. deserved after battling their way back into the match after Gerrard gave his side a dream start in the first World Cup meeting between the sides since the U.S. stunned England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup.

Wow. Poor Britain. I wonder if the Americans are busy pouring beer on one another’s heads and reciting “Mighty Casey at the Bat”? The terminology doesn’t quite fit, since it’s a baseball poem, but the dirge-like mood sure does, at least for Brits:

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.
Meanwhile, many of the fans are going deaf. It’s all the fault of the damnable vuvuzela trumpet.

[It]…might be synonymous with South African fans, but not everyone can stand the din and Cape Town shops report they are running out of “vuvu-stopper” earplugs.

Vuvuzelas can record noise levels of up to 130 decibels, compared to the 100 produced by a chainsaw, and it seems many people need some peace.

“I could have sold 300 pairs of earplugs yesterday if I’d had the stock, and the same today, but I’ve only got 200 pairs and that’s just about finished,” [said] one local shopkeeper…


The earplugs, marketed as the “Vuvu-Stop”, have a label on the back of the packet which reads: Highly effective noise reduction. Uses include soccer, rugby, or for couch potatoes to block out your wife’s moaning.”

Well, I do hope the Lurker stops in to tell me what ESPN is doing about this. They were so sure America would deservedly lose. Must be a lot of suppressed rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. It’s almost enough to make me wish we had a TV just to watch them squirm.

I said “almost”. The only other thing that moves me to almost want a TV is the prospect of being a screen witness on the day Obama hands over the keys to the White House to his successor in 2013.


Findalis said...

Why the fuss? It is not as if this is an important game like football.

All this fuss, and you let a tie stand. Where is the sudden death overtime?

A wossie game played by girlie men!

Fit only for the Dhimmis of Europe.

Professor L said...

To the contrary Findalis, someone once said that football was a gentleman's sport played by hooligans, and rugby (union, not league) is a hooligan's sport played by gentleman.

Then again, considering the poncey actors in the European sides... well, I'm Australian. We don't think soccer players should be actors.

Germany vs Australia tonight. Now that's a realy David and Goliath.

Anonymous said...

There is no overtime in the round-robin phase. FIFA eliminated sudden-death overtime in the elimination phase, replacing it with an ordinary period followed by a shootout if still tied. Sudden death is too hard on the self-esteem.

FIFA used to have sudden-death overtime, but they called it by the pansy name "golden goal". "Sudden Death" is too un-PC.

Green Infidel said...

poor Britain? I wouldn't say that to any of the British nations supporting ABE - Anyone but England :)

Herfio said...

"Why the fuss? It is not as if this is an important game like football."

The game you call football should be actually be called hand egg. Wasn't that the game where a bunch of black dudes bang their heads together and carry an egg made of leather? Yeah, sounds really important.

Tim Johnston said...

what a great game!

And no doubt the rest of "Britain" will be horrified they didn't get to play :)

The Observer said...

“Evidently, this ball being used for the Whirled Cup games has a reputation for being a bit wonky.

Players have been complaining.”

My father is law used to play football (soccer) when he lived in Rhodesia/S. Africa and he played several football matches in Johannesburg. He told me that the ball reacts differently in Jo’ burg due to the high elevation of the city. Jo’ burg is approximately 1800 meters above sea level so when you kick the ball it has less resistance than it does in a place close to sea level. This means that it travels faster and longer than usual. And this can be hard to get used to for some football players.

In my opinion this is probably what happened in the US-England game.